News Story


Published: 9/05/2014 3:45:00 PM

It has been clear for some time that a key problem is the ever-escalating level of verbal abuse and intimidation which is being directed at our referees. It is the single most common reason referees give when they drop out.

Since last season we have taken on board feedback from across the ESFA community, and we are satisfied that everybody now knows we are very serious about tackling dissent and abuse directed towards referees.

Nobody likes levying fines and nobody likes receiving fines. A key piece of feedback was that the fine didn’t affect the offender, but it hurt their club.

Following on from that feedback we are changing our system  - we are now targeting the offenders themselves more directly.

Where in 2013 we levied fines, in 2014 we will issue penalties in the form of stiffer suspensions.


·       Players who receive 5 yellow cards in a season face a one match ban; individuals who receive a yellow card for dissent will now have that card count double towards their tally.


·       Players sent off for abuse of match officials will face a minimum three match suspension, and aggravating factors will see that ban increased.

We will not tolerate dissent and abuse. This has been discussed by the Referees’ Management Committee, the Board and with the Football Management Committees. It is in the interests of all players and clubs.

We trust everyone will enjoy season 2014.

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